USD rises ahead of Fed Chair Powell testimony

09 Jul 2024

The US Dollar edged up on Tuesday from almost a month-low in the prior session, as traders awaited Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony following the surprisingly weak US jobs report.

The Dollar index, measuring the greenback against six peers, gained 0.1% at the time of writing at 105.05, up from an overnight low of 104.80, a three and a half-week dip. 

Last week, the index fell almost 1%, with Friday's monthly payroll report intensifying expectations that the Fed will begin reducing interest rates soon, Reuters reports.

As it stands, traders see around a 76% chance of a Fed rate cut at September’s meeting, a rise from last week’s 66%, according to the CME Group's FedWatch Tool.

“The recent run of weaker economic data (is) pointing to the prospect of Powell being more willing to signal the potential for rate cuts,” stated Derek Halpenny, currency strategist at MUFG.

“We see the Dollar as vulnerable to further selling today given the macro backdrop.”

Fed Chair Powell is scheduled for two days of testimony before Congress over two days, starting later today with the Senate, followed by the House on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, the Euro was down on Tuesday at $1.0819, not far from the four-week high on Monday of $1.0845. Yet the single currency also fell to a low of $1.07915 on the same day.

The Euro has been fluctuating in recent weeks due to uncertainty surrounding French politics, which persists even after Sunday's vote. On Monday, the French left expressed its desire to lead the government but acknowledged that negotiations would be challenging and time-consuming.

“The Euro appears to be waiting for cues from French coalition talks, with scenarios ranging from a left-wing government to a market-friendly technocrat prime minister,” stated Francesco Pesole, ING currency strategist.

“FX volatility has continued to drop in the meantime, but EU politics, Powell's testimony today and US CPI on Thursday may revamp it.”

In addition, Sterling dipped to $1.2799, after reaching a high of $1.28455 on Monday, its strongest since mid-June.